What energises you at work? Hopping on board Ruth’s topic (also explored by Kate, Abigail, Cherie) on how to have higher energy levels at work (although I am lacking a puppy assistant…). Maybe it’s not just the energising activity itself, but knowing that it’s on the way within a daily routine – a bit like the anticipation of planning a holiday can be as beneficial as the holiday itself.
I love crossing things off my To Do List – which is re-energising in itself, and I also like changing the category colours for tasks. …because changing the colour (mental signposts for categories) is my version of marking something as “complete” – I have active colours for tasks I’m working on, and passive colours (like blue or grey) for those that need more information from other people, rather than my own immediate actions.
I know this is incredibly dorky and similar to when Rimmer spent all his study time just creating a colour-coded calendar schedule. But it works for me, and it’s a quick system of seeing where everything’s at – I think I first read about this approach in GTD theory?
The To Do Lists go in and out of focus: macro to micro, like an overriding one for my job, and then those for each project, which are encouraging and energising because I see the numbers change like a living, breathing entity.
I’m not as hardcore as some, but I do like a good stationery fix. I agree with Abigail, it feels a lot more fun to write work things on paper. I use a fancy pencil because I’m pretty exciting! My favourite pencil is one with a green gem on the end (no guessing as to which database it promotes).
I had a weird rush of nostalgia recently, seeing a silver-painted pencil at work, engraved and emblazoned with the words, AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT. Of course, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” – I wouldn’t say it was that beautiful, but for sure, characteristic of its time (it’s a retro pencil). How do I know? I was given a bundle of them over 20 years ago from my very first penpal – still dubious about their origins!
I have tea on-the-go most of the time, normally refilling after changing a colour code. I need a teapot, but I remember seeing a USB-powered tea-warmer but maybe it would be deemed as taking the chance, workplace safety dance.
A bit like Kate’s Shiny things – Yammer, keyword alerts and dipping in and out of a conference hashtag can give ideas, connections and help to see what’s happening, what people are saying. It feels like a brain-break to switch over to the feeds and then I’m more likely think of new things, after this different focus.
Our office has greenery everywhere, which I love. I’m not good at watering the plants, luckily there are other green thumbs in residence, but sometimes I snip off bits (plants, not thumbs), or tell the plants that I appreciate them.
Cheezy jokes, learning/training and sharing with others, window views, and hunting down wayward books (and of course, the ever-more re-energising, tantalising goal, and sometimes outcome, of catching them). Also bouts of ASMR! (although, that can happen anywhere).
Reading pressure! My Mum quails at the thought that I am a Librarian Who Hasn’t Read the Classics (yes, that’s me! – in stark contrast to Ceridwyn’s love of Austen).
…I guess I feel that I don’t always read the right things, which could also be why I try to restrict watching my movie consumption, to span only those that are critically panned. I guess I am trying to be “better”! (more healthy? More wholesome?) At the same time, I share Connie and Hannah’s feelings around not engaging in reading as much as is possible – but I also want to read for pleasure, not just reading something that is good for me?
This is a tiny section of our (also small) bookshelves at home – I don’t actually own many books (multiple reasons, including working in interlibrary loans for a long time, having expensive books damaged in a flood, etc.).
Like Maya, I have some books just for the tactility and memories they offer – touchstones to a different time.
In blogjune 2014, my collection was in a different cabinet – since that time, I’ve bought a few YA series I’ve kept, some books I’ve forwarded on, and received some lovely vegan cookbooks. There are some long-held Christian Boltanski ones that I love dearly, but try not to read/manhandle because I have that hangup of not destroying the pages. I used to work with a curator who purchased photography books as an investment, it seems rewarding – but I think she now buys in multiples (too hard to part with them).
Some of the books you see are Norwegian ones – many years ago I thought I would read things in Norsk and at some point my brain would suddenly “click” and just get it. Obvious naivety there. So I really enjoy looking at ideas for becoming bilingual, such as a vocabulary wall. I did a Wiradjuri course last year, which really helped me to understand the mechanics of how I learn, as well as wishing that local languages and culture were embedded in school (but this is changing for the better now). Other books shown are about gardening, art and cooking. I feel like it’s a good topic overview shelf, but it also has other people’s books, so I feel like it also speaks to the work I need to do around boundaries.
To balance concerns about not reading, I’ve included a screenshot of a mini-accomplishment – catching up on all the posts in my feedly blogjune category. Yay!
I would rather re-read Margaret Atwood’s novels and poetry, than try something super-new. Mr Sonja would say that this also reflects my attitude to “known” foods.
There was a well-read books list in blogjune 2014 – I’m afraid I haven’t augmented my score much (read this as: at all) in the intervening 2 years.
#iconfessineverread (classics, and then some non-classics so that I might actually remedy the situation!)
At the same time of having a guilt trip about what I don’t read, there are some things that are going to be on my “to don’t” list forever. Like Dickens.
My annual book and movie list!
My tally for the year was: 46 movies, 42 books, 1 play, 2 web series, 1 comedy show, and 1 short online movie (a big book-reading improvement on last year’s tally of 55 movies, 17 books and 2 TV series).
As for games, I spent a lot of time playing Pokemon shuffle, but that’s about it (I usually only like games with shape-matching but no characters, so it’s a bit limiting – although I had a go at Trials fusion and new Tetris). I didn’t visit the library as often as I’d like, but I bought a lot more books than I would normally (i.e. more than zero), and made sure that at least one other person read my copies to make them a bit greener. I also forgot to note which art exhibitions I saw, but that’s a goal for another year.
2015 was definitely my year of reading Richelle Mead’s series: Bloodlines, Georgina Kincaid, Age of X and Dark Swan (Eugenie Markham). But now I need to read Soundless (from late 2015), and The Glittering Court is coming – when all I want is to petulantly demand another Age of X or Dark Swan book (they are pending/unknown). It was really pleasing to read the concluding book of the Bloodlines series – a colleague once said I was a “completionist”, and for sure, I do like it when things are done, I hate waiting on book release dates. I was delighted to read the next Jewel series instalment, The White Rose, but now have to wait for the next one, The Black Key, to be released this fall (in America – autumn is in late September, so maybe 235 days?). Yuck. This is why I read things after the hype is over and there is no waiting, but I guess it is good to support art and culture in-process, but sometimes I can’t stand the anticipation.
It was also a big year of reading Cassandra Clare’s series: The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices. And now to wait for The Dark Artifices. Life is just waiting for more books, it seems.
I’ve continued my love of trashy movies, but made them a bit more educational with Norwegian subtitles, it would be so helpful if subtitle language availability was made clearer across library catalogues and other listings. And I read the very worst book in the world, Zelda’s cut, which was so frustrating and depressing. I made my mother-in-law read it so that we could bond through our mutual dislike of everything about the characters and storyline.
“Goddamn bugs.” = “Fordømte insekt.”
“Seeing the outside of her body was nothing compared to seeing the inside. Even now, he was probably analysing her outburst, and she already felt too raw and exposed. If she kept her back to him, maybe she could hide the hole in her that she felt he’d ripped open.” p. 300
“She’d never heard of lingonberries but Nordics seemed to love them.” p. 358
“Different kinds of happy”
“The sweater and khakis combination looked both respectable and subdued, though the color scheme blended a bit too well with my light brown hair. It was a librarian sort of outfit. Did I want to look subdued? Maybe.” p. 43
“I could still feel where his power had touched me, rather like a tactile version of the afterimage one sees with a camera flash.” p. 321.
“It twinkled like starlight, seeping into me.” p. 102
“A flower of agony and euphoria burst open in my chest.” P. 356
“She was still using that librarian voice, but I had to admit she looked more like a succubus than the last time I’d seen her.” p. 80
“Out here in the middle of nowhere, stars clustered the sky, and night insects rained down a symphony of chatter.” p. 177
“Our souls are like …oh, I don’t know. It’s like they’re encased in amber. They’re there, and I can see them inside us.” p. 253
“See this? That’s your love line, that’s your money line, and that’s looking very, very good. And that’s your life line going all the way down – uh-oh. See that little gap there. It means that at one point, you could have a little trouble. But it’s up to you to make it better.”
“You’re too entrenched in mortal thinking if you think this is a coincidence. Don’t you know I’m looking out for you?” p. 181
“If I have left a wound inside you, it is not just your wound but mine as well.”
“…it would’ve been deliciously wicked.”
“Something snapped in my head. I decided life wasn’t fit to live, and the only thing to do was to mingle with the twinkling stars.”
“…you’re an artist… That means you see the world in ways that other people don’t. It’s your gift, to see the beauty and the horror in ordinary things. It doesn’t make you crazy – just different. There’s nothing wrong with being different.” p. 29
“The face of the angel was fierce and beautiful and sad.” p. 169
“She had her hand clamped over her mouth as if to hold the kiss and the power of the kiss inside her. …Still she kept her hand over her mouth, still she felt, under the unconscious grip of her fingers, the heat and the power of his kiss.” p. 75
“The messages became more and more of a ritual, a sacrifice to an unresponsive god…” p. 396
“…if anyone saw me I’d look normal – not like a bogan or anything.” p. 1
“…our sunroom: seagrass matting, cane furniture with lime-green cushions…” p. 14
“He’s such a spunk, but he’s always distant.” p.17
“The worms will come.” p. 22
“The worms will get you,’ the voice said clearly. ‘The worms come in the night.’” p. 22
“Look out for the worms. They’ll get you,’” p. 23
“I don’t know where I’m from, but I’m very hairy.”
“I just naturally feel bad about everything, and you give me that look, like it’s my fault.”
“Simon didn’t need a mirror to know he was wearing eye-liner. The knowledge was instant, and complete.” p. 133
“And when I die and they burn my body and I become ashes that mix with the air, and part of the ground and the trees and the stars, everyone who breathes that air or sees the flowers that grow out 707 of the ground or looks up at the stars will remember you and love you, because I love you that much.” pp. 706-7.
“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” p. 93
“He didn’t know what books 103 meant to her, that books were symbols of truth and meaning, that this one acknowledged that she existed and that there were others like her in the world.” pp. 103-104
“…a lot of vampires were beautiful. Their beauty had always seemed to him like the beauty of pressed flowers – lovely, but dead.” p. 197
“There was a clear picture in her head of the sea. It had drawn back entirely from the shore, and she could see the small creatures it had left gasping in its wake, flapping and dying on the bare sand.” p. 470
“There were still flecks of dried blood around his collarbones, a sort of brutal necklace.” p. 78
“…she had understood-oh, she had been told it before, had known it before, but that was not the same as understanding…” p. 159
“Life was an uncertain thing, and there were some moments one wished to remember, to imprint upon one’s mind that the memory might be taken out later, like 372 a flower pressed between the pages of a book, and admired and recollected anew.” pp. 372-3.
“She held his face between her hands as they kissed-he tasted slightly of tea leaves, and his lips were soft and the kiss entirely sweet. Sophie floated in it, in the prism of the moment, feeling safe from all the rest of the world.” p. 373
“I feel like you can look inside me and see all the places I am odd or unusual and fit your heart around them, for you are odd and unusual in just the same way.” p. 412
“’What you are, what you can do, it is like some great miracle of the earth, like fire or wildflowers or the breadth of the sea. You are unique in the world, just as you are unique in my heart, and there will never be a time when I do not love you.’” p. 537
“If thought could exercise its influence upon a living organism, might not thought exercise an influence upon dead and inorganic things? Nay, without thought or conscious desire, might not things external to ourselves vibrate in unison with our moods and passions, atom calling to atom in secret love or strange affinity?” p. 103
“He went towards the little pearl-coloured octagonal stand, that had always looked to him like the work of some strange Egyptian bees that wrought in silver…” p. 120
“…getting the dainty Delhi muslins, finely wrought with gold-thread palmates, and stitched over with iridescent beetles’ wings…” p. 133
“I was a goldfish without a castle to hide in.” p. 54
“My shoulders sagged as if someone let all the air out of the smiley-face balloon that was my heart.” p. 274
“I’ll walk forever with stories inside me that the people I love the most can never hear.” p. 258
“The papers flutter when I open or close the door, like the walls are breathing.” p. 305
“I love you. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever. If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If I were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.” p. 453
“…it feels like we’re alone in a sea of beating hearts and breathing lungs.” p. 466
“Oh! I like the way it cracks.” “Mmm-hmm. Of course you do.”
“My anxiety mushrooms; this deal could all go to shit.” p. 90
“I undo my bow tie. Perhaps it’s me that’s empty.” p. 292
“Anxiety blooms in my chest.” p. 379
“…I understood that these stories held their own accuracy.” p. 141
“Lack of empathy lies at the heart of every crime…” p. 298
“…there’s a place where you can take refuge, a place inside you, a place to which no one else has access, a place that no one can destroy.”
“I breathe. I know I breathe.”
“…I don’t really know you. But I feel like I do.”
“…and we all have stuff that we wanted to say that we could’ve said. …we never put a time-limit on these things. They’re just so easy to put off. But just because he didn’t say it, doesn’t mean that you didn’t feel it. It just means that you’re the only one that will ever know.”
“What in tarnation would I be doing with toys?”
“I’d rather cover myself in jam and sit on a wasps’ nest.”
About a puppy: “I bet if he could talk, he’d be trying to tell me just how much he loves me.”
“Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.”
“People in the mountains? Mountain-people? That’s your plan?”
“That’s what they should have on TV every night… Not that violent American rubbish. They should have the Sunset Report. Brought to you by the Federal Department of Nature Appreciation.” p. 35
“There was no way he could have known that her heart, for the thousandth time, felt as if it had turned into a sharp splinter.” p. 77
“…her remembered face like the distant familiar beauty of stars, not to be touched but to shine in front of his eyes at night.” p. 17
“Magnus had learned to be careful about giving his memories with his heart. When people died, it felt like all the pieces of yourself you had given to them went as well. It took so long, building yourself back up until you were whole again, ,and you were never entirely the same.” p. 34
“This was what humans did: They left one another messages through time, pressed between pages or carved into rock. Like reaching out a hand through time, and trusting in a phantom hoped-for hand to catch yours. Humans did not live forever. They could only hope what they made would endure.” p. 42
“Everything about this exchange was wrong. This was not how the reunion should have gone. It should have been coy, it should have had many strange pauses and moments of double meaning.” p. 283
“The heart had its reasons, and they were seldom all that reasonable.” p. 331
“…a trouble sundae with dark secret cherries on top.” p. 331
“And silver, though few people knew it, was a rarer metal than gold.” p. 396
“seeing the overwhelming needs and fears in the world we can all be excused for wanting to withdraw.” p. 106
“I wish I could unzip my skin and show him the place inside me where Ash lives, tangled up in blood and bone and muscle, impossible to separate or remove.” p. 117
“I rub my eyes. There’s too much in my head, and not enough space for it all.” p. 172
“…the big cabinets where rare old books and memorabilia grew silently older and rarer behind glass.” p. 70
“The barriers between reality and fiction are softer than we think: a bit like a frozen lake. Hundreds of people can walk across it, but then one evening a thin spot develops and someone falls through; the hole is frozen over by the following morning.” [didn’t write down the pagination!]
“The backs of his hands were lightly sprinkled with brown age marks, but the hands were still capable – a craftsman’s hands, strong and square, yet with the promise of lyrical, gentle touch.” p. 10
“His relationship with his employer was edgy and barbed, liable to erupt in furious explosions.” p. 22
“…Robinson was suggesting that it was not only beautiful objects themselves that were important, but also the very ‘pursuit’ of collecting them. Tracking down objects, studying them, comparing and treasuring them…” p. 69
“This portrait… …was showing off the part of him that mattered – his collection.” p. 189
“He became a collector of stories.” p. 343
A bit late! Oh well. I only read two books and a trilogy in the first nine months, and then I caught up with twelve more books in the remaining 3 months. Which makes this really more of a movie list, with 55 movies and 2 TV series (I didn’t see many movies growing up, I’m catching up). I didn’t count non-fiction books, because they’re work-related (but in hindsight, perhaps not an optimal decision). In making this list, I’ve realised that I’ll watch and read basically anything that’s available. This isn’t a highly sought-after superpower, but if a book or DVD feels neglected in a 1 km radius, I will give it some attention. I am still recovering from watching all of Dawson’s Creek over several months in 2013 (I loved it).
Kate has a good, measurable goal of a book a month (plus many other “real person” goals) and to note them on Goodreads. As a binge-reader/watcher, my goal is to visit the library at least once a fortnight so I always have a pile of books or DVDs at home, ready for when I get the craving.
My word of the year (milquetoast) was from the movie Extra Man. I didn’t really have a favourite from the list, but I find that the more I enjoy something, the more I want to remember quotes so that I can keep it close (like pinning a butterfly to remember the colours, even if it is still faded from the real experience). Maybe it was Maleficent as I watched it twice. Magic Mike was fun but I forgot I had the DVD in the computer drive, so I spent ages trying to work out which internet tab was playing an interminable melody until I realised it was the DVD intro auto-play.
I’m excited to read the rest of the Bloodlines novels (last one out in February) and the sequel to Jewel (White Rose), but it isn’t out till 6 October! Ugh. At least it’s a little closer with each passing moment.
[in the British Museum reading room] “It was as indeed as good as a play, this marvellous aggregation of human dramatic possibilities surging tirelessly before him. He wondered that he had never thought of seeing it before.” P. 4
[various notations about Pale flaxen hair picked with lemon in its lights and a Dainty rose-leaf of a chin]
“Placing her elbows on the table, and poising her chin between thumbs and forefingers, she bestowed a frank scrutiny upon his face, as intent and dispassionate as the gaze which a professor of palmistry fastens upon the lines of the client’s hand.” P. 30
“David piled up in reverie the loathly epithets upon the over-large bald head of his friend with savage satisfaction. “You preposterous clown!” he snarled at the burly blond image of the absent nobleman in his mind’s eye. “You gratuitous and wanton ass! Oh, you unthinkable duffer!” p. 139
“Who the deuce could it be?” p. 156
Ep1: “You’ve got eyes, use them goddamnit”
Ep 5? “The trouble with triffids is what we don’t know” “All the knowledge is there, in books, if only we’d take the time to read them.”
“Antoine radiates happiness from every pore.”
“Everything you touch turns to gold.”
“Dickwad! Quit busting my balls! I’ll rip out your eyes, scumbag! I’ll rip out your eyes… scumbag! And kick your teeth out your ass!” “I’m proud of you, tiger. Don’t smile. Let’s go home. Don’t smile. You did great.”
“Never wake up the monster who leaves its lair to eat little children!”
“Do you believe in soul mates?” “I’m not sure”. “I like it. I like the idea. That someone, somewhere is made for you, forever.”
“I just want to know more about my dreams. …I often dream about a little monster.”
“We can’t give in to setbacks or the opinions of so-called fat cat specialists.”
“It develops from the inside. It’s a matter of love, faith. Everyone can develop their paranormal abilities. It’s a question of desire and will.”
“It’s at a magazine. An environmental journal.” “I’m sure it’s all just a front for po***graphy.”
“Don’t be such a milquetoast.”
“I’ve never told anyone this, but sometimes, in my head I actually imagine there’s somebody narrating my life as if I’m the protagonist in a classic novel.”
“I need to put on my eyemask.”
“A worm crawls out of a plate of spaghetti and says: “That was some gangbang!””
“Katherine alluded to the fact that you’re unreliable, so you have to promise.”
“Wow. Just so you know, you’re kinda being a c***.”
“Nah, I’m out of here.” “Hey, Fifield! Where are you going?” “What? Look, I’m just a geologist. I like rocks. I love rocks. Now, it’s clear you two don’t give a shit about rocks…”
“The past is just a story we tell ourselves.”
“You’re failing your children! Lose 2000 Mom points!”
“The point is to get there first ‘cause then you get extra Perfect Mom points because the other Moms then know you’re a perfect Mom.”
“You’re always going to disappoint somebody.” “Exactly. So fuck it. I feel good. Ish. For me, I feel good.”
“You think I don’t know that I’m not a person? What are you doing?”
[looking at drawing] “Why do I look so sad?” “That’s what your face looks like.”
“Of course, I don’t have my books and, cos there are no bookshelves, I’m definitely going to be bookless.”
“I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.”
“…because of how it must feel against your skin.”
“Don’t expect any mercy from me. I’m going to grind you into a fine powder.”
“The whole rest of your life, whenever you need to feel brave, just look at your scar. Your hand will grow bigger, and your finger will grow bigger, but your scar will always stay the same size.”
[on death:] “What happens is, you think the last thought you’re ever going to think.”
“You accumulate regrets, and they stick to you like old bruises.”
“You spend your life accumulating stuff, and then you can’t find anywhere to put it.”
“Ah, Mr Business and Miss Pleasure.”
“It’s got nothing to do with the doctor.” “He’s got sausage fingers.” “Yeah, I know.”
“This was written in 1649.” “Yes.” “Well, it’s a bit out of date, isn’t it?” “We’re talking about eternity and you’re quibbling about 350 years! If it was true once, it must always be true.”
“Didn’t I notice you lift your eyebrow in a disagreeable way?”
“Only a crazy man would write a love letter that takes 8 years to arrive.”
“…and the trees …were not too busy to take this sigh back through their leaves.”
“Sometimes, when Walwyn was working on something, he would read a sentence or two out loud, and she could hear where her thoughts streaked across the horizon of his words, like old stars that light up the night sky as they are falling.” p. 238
“The words were beautiful. They swam toward her; they slid up onto the bank. the words became flesh and then the flesh took on wings and 337 then the wings made a picture; she could see things in her mind as she was going along. The words tapped at her, a woodpecker drilling a trunk. Then the tapping became new words and the new words grew, and what was grown was love.” pp. 336-7
“He was wearing one of my fave colors on him – a fire-engine-red tee. The color looked amaze against his pale skin.” p. 121
“Sorrow swoops in my chest like a swallow.” p. 135
“Your majesty, you certainly know your way to a woman’s heart!” “I wasn’t aiming that high.”
‘You’re pretty sassy for a hygienist, aren’t ya?’
“What were you like at school Chris?” “I wasn’t like anything, I was like, invisible.”
“It’s a bloody heritage place! …They’ve not been preserved for hundreds of years so that wankers like that can use them like a bloody toilet!”
“…That tree won’t involve itself in low-level bullying.”
“Poor boy. Those cheap crisps are full of horrors.”
“No, no, no, you don’t want clutter. You just want some plants and cushions and pictures and a tablecloth there…”
“What little social know-how I did possess came by analyzing characters on TV shows like reruns of Degrassi (both classic and Next Generation). I figured that if I 50 decided which character I most resembled, I’d have my social blueprint for knowing how to talk and act.” pp. 50-51
“So did he think I was nice at least? Being nice wasn’t a bad thing to be. No, nice was awful. the worst. Nice was coddled eggs and applesauce. Nice was totally bland and forgettable.” p. 58
“Everyone keeps talking about finding a heart for me, as though one were hidden behind the couch in a game of hide-and-seek, or it had been misplaced along with someone’s cell phone.” p. 60
“…the exposed heart beat back and forth like a small animal that had been chased and was breathing hard, cornered in a cave of strange red rock.” p. 80
“Was he supposed to kiss me? Was I supposed to let him? Had that been the real price of my salad?” p. 88
“Laundry duty washed away another layer of skin, so really, all she had were memories.” p. 82
“He gave her a grin hot enough to melt her slippers.” p. 256
“A film closed over the past as she spoke, a barrier as brittle and fragile as ice forming. It would grow and strengthen. It would become impenetrable, opaque.” p. 88
“…for an instant she stood again amid the sound of rushing water form the mill, happiness as full around her as the night.” p. 89
“The geode was warm and damp. He gave it a sharp crack on the rock, splitting it open to reveal its crystalline purple heart. “So beautiful,” Norah murmured, turning it in her hand. “Ancient seas,” David said. “The water got trapped inside and crystallized, over centuries.” p. 111
“And the distance between them, millimeters only, the space of a breath, opened up and deepened, became a cavern at whose edge he stood.” p. 115
“…she was excluded from the conversation: object, not subject.” p. 181